The true pleasures of puppyhood
Okay, so we all know this proud feeling.
“I got a new puppy!” And then reality hits. “Oh no, now what do I do?”
Ask anybody who’s ever gotten a puppy, and they’ll tell you: the first 24 hours can be ‘rufffff’, especially the first night. There’s all the excitement, but slightly mixed with the self-doubt of “OMG, do I know how to do this?” Most new pawrents go through a period of uncertainty, wondering whether or not they’re doing it all right.
Fact is: No matter how in love you are with your new furry friend, you’re going to face some challenges. Read on for a guide on how to survive the first 24 hours with your new puppy.
Baby is coming home
When your new puppy arrives, you will be just playing and cuddling with them and take pleasure to watch them sleep.
So, it’s a good idea to set up everything they need before the little one arrives.
Here’s a basic checklist of must-have puppy supplies:
- Adjustable collar and leash
- Collar tags with contact info
- Food and water bowls
- High quality puppy food, unless you will be cooking yourself
- Doggie basket
- Toys and healthy treats
- Playpen or ‘baby gates’ to create a ‘puppy-land’ in your home
Remember: Taking care of a new puppy takes lots of time and energy. And you’ll want to spend every possible moment with your new fur-child.
If your work schedules allows, try to take off at least one day when you first bring your puppy home. Just like with a hooman baby, these first days are the most important, as being there as much as possible in the beginning will help to create that special bond.
As soon as your new puppy is home, take them to their designated “potty spot.”
When they do their ‘business’, praise them right away with lots of sweet talk and a treat. Be sure to make them potty outside before you bring her/him indoors!
After your puppy is inside, plan on ‘pipi breaks‘ at least every two hours. Accidents are bound to happen, but you can help your fur-child by starting to get used to a schedule.
From day one (and night one), it is a time to teach the little one that he/she is part of the family. But you also want to establish a routine, and set physical boundaries, to teach proper in-house behavior. At Cooka’s we created a special puppy zone to help little Bohemia and also to keep our home ‘intact’.
When you get a puppy, it may be tempting to invite your friends to meet the new family member. Kind of like a puppy-shower. But remember, your puppy just went on a scary car ride, lost his/her pack and is in a strange new place with people he/she doesn’t know. So better to wait a few days or even weeks, before it is time to ‘pawty’ and keep these first days for family bonding.
Puppies need a lot of sleep, an average of 15-20 hours a day! However, they also have near-hourly bathroom needs. Yepppp!
If your puppy is about 8-12 weeks old, they will probably take lots of naps during the day and need to go outside as they wake up. Better be fast!
On your pup’s first night, he/she probably wakes you up a few times, just like hooman babies. So try to establish a bedtime routine from the first day and stick to it. While the first night might be challenging, a routine will help the little one understand what’s expected when the family goes to sleep.
Some pawrents like to have the pup’s crate in their bedroom, others prefer for the puppy to be in their own room from the beginning and others may invite the pup into their own bed. (guilty here) No matter what you decide, the most important thing is to establish a special sleeping space and routine.
To smell is a puppy’s strongest sense and on their first night away from mommy and the pack they’ll be just overwhelmed by new smells. You can help make them feel at home by placing a ‘mama-scented’ shirt or towel in their special place. (It might be a good idea, that when you go to pick up your puppy, to take an old t-shirt or towel with you and wipe it on the mommy dog. Or ask the breeder/owner in advance if you can take some of the familiar bedding home with your new child.)
And here is another pawsome trick to soothe the pup on his/her first night away from mommy: Hide a ticking clock under his/her bedding. Really! The steady tick-tock will remind them of their mother’s heartbeat.
So this is it. Fact is, puppies are like hooman babies and those first moments really matter. Give Love Love Love to the little fur-child and remember to be patient. Sometimes they will cry a lot and have ‘accidents’, as they still have to learn and discover their world. But once you get through these first days, you and your pup will settle into a routine together.
And soon you are part of the pack!